What members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles say about the implications of COVID-19

In 1832, elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began returning from their missions in the Eastern States and making reports to the Prophet Joseph Smith. During this season, the Prophet received the following direction from the Lord: “Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:62).

The directive echoed the words of the resurrected Savior anciently to His Apostles: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

During the past three months when COVID-19 travel restrictions have prevented senior leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ today from going “into all the world,” they have continued to “send” their message. Following are quotes from the Apostles given in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic:

The world will win the war on COVID-19, President Ballard says

President M. Russell Ballard: “I have never seen anything like it in my years as a General Authority. The steps that are being taken are wise and temporary. We are asking every day, ‘What are we going to do and when are we going to do it and how are we going to do it?’ We are being led by revelation a step at a time. We have not been in this situation before, at least not in my ministry. Do we see light at the end of the tunnel? Absolutely!”

‘Shelter in place’ spiritually and physically, Elder Holland says as isolation orders continue around the world

President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, share a laugh in the Rome Italy Temple visitors' center in Rome, Italy on Monday, March 11, 2019.
President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, share a laugh in the Rome Italy Temple visitors’ center in Rome, Italy on Monday, March 11, 2019. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “This is a rare time of enforced solitude when we don’t have a lot of trivia or superficial busyness distracting us from considering the truly important things in life. Such times invite us to look into our soul and see if we like what we see there. … [COVID-19 has brought a] kind of mandatory Sabbath — a time when we step away from our normal routine, from life as usual, and consider our dependence on God and the blessings from Him we so often take for granted.”

COVID-19: ‘Our precious missionaries are the pioneers of our day,’ says Elder Uchtdorf

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “We are continuing to learn how to improve missionary work now and for the future. The Lord has promised to ‘hasten His work’ for the blessing of all of God’s children. I feel that we are right in the middle of this process while living through this challenging time. Our precious missionaries are the pioneers of our day, blazing a trail of sharing the gospel message in new ways fitting to our circumstances, so that the Church of Jesus Christ will continue to roll forth until it fills the whole earth.”

Despite temple closures, blessings are readily available during COVID-19 pandemic, Elder Bednar says

Elder David A. Bednar: “With the eternal perspective that the restored gospel provides and the grace that comes from the Savior’s Atonement, we can learn lessons from the adversity of mortality that prepare us for the blessings of eternity. We have to pray. We have to seek. We have to ask. We have to have eyes to see and ears to hear. But we can be blessed in remarkable ways to learn lessons that will bless us now and forever.”

Revelation guided ‘an interlocking pattern of strength’ that now sustains the Church during COVID-19, Elder Cook says

Elder Quentin L. Cook: “I am very grateful for what I see in the members of the Church and their faithfulness. My heart fills with gratitude for the wonderful way they are reacting in stressful times — for the way they are watching out for others, staying close to others through technology and striving to prepare themselves for future blessings. … This time is foundational and will allow the Church to grow in the future and touch more lives and do more of the work of salvation than ever before. We will look back on this as a foundational time of preparation and not just something we had to endure.”

Being single amid COVID-19: Elder Christofferson asks members to ‘consider what it means to belong’

Elder D. Todd Christofferson: “In all of this, we have to be more sensitive to the isolation and other challenges that single adults face, more than most of us do — especially single parents, who are carrying such a huge load. It is incumbent on us to give some added attention to creating a sense of inclusion, to be thoughtful about the help that they might need. … Consider what it means to belong, what it feels like. There is a lot we can do for one another if we have a sense of belonging and brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Elder Andersen addresses ‘compensatory blessings’ amid COVID-19

Elder Neil L. Andersen: “All the world is in the hands of the Lord. All things are in His control. … You can never find yourself in a time that the Lord won’t teach you if you are righteous. This life is a time for becoming, not just for experiencing. It is a time of being taught from on high. As we are righteous, compensatory blessings always come — even in the most difficult times of our lives.”

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, left, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talks with Pastor Chris Zacharias of the John Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church as they tour the Rome Italy Temple Visitors' Center on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, left, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talks with Pastor Chris Zacharias of the John Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church as they tour the Rome Italy Temple Visitors’ Center on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Credit: Ravell Call, Deseret News

Elder Rasband: Communicating the ‘power of the word’ amid COVID-19

Elder Ronald A. Rasband: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many troubled days. I bless you to believe in the promises of Jesus Christ, that He lives and that He is watching over us, caring for us and standing by us.”

How to view discouragement during COVID-19 through the lens of faith, Elder Stevenson says

Elder Gary E. Stevenson: “When we, as Latter-day Saints, build on the sure foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and look to the prophet for guidance, we will be able to view disappointment and discouragement through a lens of faith and optimism.”

With easing of COVID-19 restrictions, personal revelation is essential, says Elder Renlund

Elder Dale G. Renlund: Church members have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that “God lives and that He listens to prayers, that He listens to our petitions as the prophet calls on us to fast and pray. I am hoping we have all learned that home-centered church can be spiritually rich. I am hoping we have all learned about being self-reliant and taking responsibility for our own faith and our own spiritual progress. And I am hoping we have learned that messages from the Holy Ghost are quiet, plain and simple — and that this contrasts widely to the worldly messages that are loud, confusing and brash.”

Why we need to stay connected amid COVID-19 social distancing, Elder and Sister Gong say

Elder Gerrit W. Gong: “The hearts of all of us across the Church go out to all who have been so full of faith and determination to find ways to accomplish the Lord’s purposes and to serve and bloom where they are. We are not going to go back to something old. We are going forward to something new. We are learning things that will help us keep the best of what we do person to person while learning to use technology and other means in effective and appropriate ways.”

Elder Soares: How experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have enhanced Sabbath day observance

Elder Ulisses Soares, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and Elder Dale G. Renlund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speak to media after the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple in Rome, Italy, on Sunday, March 10, 2019.
Elder Ulisses Soares, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and Elder Dale G. Renlund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speak to media after the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple in Rome, Italy, on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Elder Ulisses Soares: “The joy we feel in our lives has little to do with the circumstances we face and everything to do with our focus on Jesus Christ. We know that redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah, who is the source of all joy. Having a clear understanding of that in our hearts, we can rejoice while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year. I testify that the Lord finds joy in us as we worship, love and find joy in our labors in His vineyard.”